Table of Contents
Journal of Anthropology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1760313, 10 pages
Research Article

Metric Identification of the Same People from Images: How Reliable Is It?

Biological and Comparative Anatomy Research Unit, Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia

Received 26 April 2016; Accepted 21 June 2016

Academic Editor: Kaushik Bose

Copyright © 2016 Teghan Lucas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ratios have been applied to humans to identify individuals from images. These attempts have been proven unsuccessful, as camera angle, height, and distortions of the image affected the results. The anharmonic ratio is a ratio of ratios; it has proved successful in the identification of objects from images, as it is not affected by any distortions. The anharmonic ratio was applied to the human body and face to identify individuals from their images. Faces and bodies of twenty South Australian males aged 16–65 years were measured using standard anthropometric techniques. Participants were photographed in high quality images and recorded by standard surveillance camera (low quality images). Ten ratios were calculated from manual measurements and from all images. An Euclidean distance showed ratios incorrectly identified individuals 64.3% of the time between images of different quality. Variation of ratios between individuals is low so that standard deviations of ratios are of the magnitude similar to technical errors of measurements. Therefore participants cannot be isolated based on ratios. Ratios are an unreliable method for identification.